Or a richness of embarrassment. Today we’re going to name not one, but sevenLawyers of the Day.
Our first Lawyer of the Day is Mark Mersel (formerly of Morrison & Foerster, now at Bryan Cave). In case you missed the shout-out in Morning Docket, here’s a bit more, from the WSJ Law Blog:
It’s a litigator’s worst dream — costing your client serious money by missing a filing deadline.
That nightmare was a reality for MoFo, which appears to have cost its client Toshiba America $1 million when it was one-minute late — 1 minute! — in filing a motion for attorneys fees.
For the exciting details — which involve a courier zooming through traffic on a motorcycle, and an unfortunately timed train — read the full post.
The other six Lawyers of the Day are no strangers to thesepages. Let’s call them the Qualcomm Six. From the Recorder:
Six attorneys in the Qualcomm Inc. discovery fiasco were sanctioned Monday for “monumental” discovery violations and referred to the State Bar of California for possible discipline.
Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder attorneys James Batchelder, Adam Bier, Kevin Leung, Christian Mammen and Lee Patch, and Heller Ehrman’s Stanley Young were sanctioned and harshly criticized by U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara Major in a 42-page order. The ruling follows a patent infringement trial Qualcomm had brought against Broadcom Corp.
The attorneys “assisted Qualcomm in committing this incredible discovery violation by intentionally hiding or recklessly ignoring relevant documents, ignoring or rejecting numerous warning signs that Qualcomm’s document search was inadequate, and blindly accepting Qualcomm’s unsupported assurances that its document search was adequate,” Major wrote.
The New York State Board of Law Examiners has confirmed to me that they will hear appeals regarding the July 2007 exam. That exam was plagued by malfunctioning software for those that submitted essays on laptop computers, only to see all or part of the answers disappear. The BOLE subsequently said that they approximated the answers if they were incomplete, based on how the examinees did on other answers. Those grade approximations were subsequently called into question based on an anonymous tip in this blog.
It appears that the situation we reported on earlier, concerning the plight of Mac users at American University’s Washington College of Law, has been resolved. Several of you forwarded us an email from the WCL administration outlining the steps they’re taking to address the situation, including “providing $12,000 towards the cost of laptop rental for all upper-level users of MACs that are incompatible with the exam software.”
Some reactions from students:
“At times it has felt like a modern PCU, sans George Clinton of course: ‘These, Tom, are the Causeheads. They find a world-threatening issue and stick with it for about a week.’”
“Although I am not a Mac user, and am fairly tired of hearing Mac users whining at school, it’s good to see my school do the right thing.”
“We just received this email from the Dean. Looks like your post helped us out. Thanks!”
Last Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit heard oral argument in Arar v. Ashcroft, a high-profile lawsuit arising out of the U.S. government’s rendition of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen, to Syria.
We interviewed DLA Piper partner Joshua Sohn (at right), co-counsel to Mr. Arar along with the Center for Constitutional Rights, about this interesting case and his firm’s work on it. For readers who aren’t familiar with the case, what’s it all about?
It’s about the federal government’s extraordinary renditions program, which sends “people of interest” to sites around the world for indefinite detention and interrogation under harsh conditions — in this case torture. Mr. Arar, who is a computer engineer, Canadian citizen, husband, and father of two young children, was pulled out of the immigration line at JFK when he was attempting to change planes, but not enter the United States. Mr. Arar was interrogated at the airport, detained and interrogated at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, and ultimately flown by private jet in the dead of night to Jordan and delivered to Syria. Mr. Arar was never charged with a crime, was not allowed to consult with an attorney for many days when he was first detained and both he and his attorney were lied to about what was going to happen to him and the fact that he was being sent to Syria.
Mr. Arar made plain to those holding him that he feared being tortured in Syria and that he wanted to be sent to Canada-where he lived and was a citizen. Those pleas were ignored and Mr. Arar was sent to Syria where he was tortured and kept in a grave-like cell for almost a year. This case seeks to hold the federal officials who are responsible for Mr. Arar’s treatment, responsible.
Read the rest of the interview, after the jump.
Wow. Sorry for the delay in new posts, but you guys have been going wild in the comments, and have thereby crushed our servers. We suck. Anyway, here’s some more on MacGate:
University of Kentucky law students received a memo earlier this week explaining the school’s decision to use Exam Soft (and thus impact Mac users in the same negative fashion as American University). The long and the short of it is that Exam Soft is better than the other two choices, and that putting Mac users out is a necessary evil. The other choices rejected by Kentucky were Secure Exam (the company responsible for the New York Bar Exam Laptopgate clusterf**k) and Extegrity. Extegrity works with Macs, but Kentucky memo’s description of the company makes it sound pretty fly-by-night:
itself is very small, however, and has a small number of users. When
we asked the owner about addressing problems that might arise during
the administration of exams, he suggested that he would give us his
cell phone number and we could just call him on the west coast.
So what have we learned? First, if you’re going to law school, it’s probably going to be easier on you if you have a PC laptop instead of a Mac one (also, you might consider remembering how to use pen and paper; we did it for all of our law school exams and the bar exam). Second, some real company needs to write a program for taking exams on laptops that is compatible with Macs.
The full memo after the jump.
“Hello, I’m a Mac.”
“And I’m a PC. I may not be great at making newfangled new media graphics, but at least I won’t cost you extra when you’re taking law school exams at American University.”
Apparently American University is not the best place to go law school if you plan on using a Mac laptop. From a tipster:
My sister is a 2L and was told before she went to the school that a Macintosh would be compatible for test-taking. Turns out this is not the case and the students with Macs must either pay $200-300 to download the software to take exams or rent a non-Mac to take the exam. In essense, students with Macs must pay to take their exams.
This is an appalling situation as I am told that at least 1/3 of the students there have Macs. Also, when I called the Student Tech Support Analyst at the school and told them that I was a potential incoming student and was looking to buy a PC, they initially told me that as long as the Mac has XP, that exam taking would be fine.
Is this a huge injustice to Mac users, or should the Mac users just man up and pay, or take the exams on paper?
We’ve got a portion of an email exchange between an angry Mac student and a dean of the school after the jump to help you decide.
Lat is here (and apparently partying like a rock star), so you’ll have to put with me for the rest of the day.
The first order of the day is to announce that the New York Bar Exam results are up on the BOLE website.
We had anxious tipsters this morning who were quite worried (and can you blame them, really?) that there was another screw-up with the exam. The link was already there to go to the results page, but clicking on it produced a large, red-lettered “ERROR” message. It appears from later tips that we received, though, that the results were available promptly at 9:00 a.m. just as it was previously announced they would be.
Ok, so they managed to get the results up, but what’s up with Laptopgate? Anybody got any updates? Earlier: Update: What’s Going on with the New York Bar Exam Results? Update: In our haste to get the post up, we missed an update on Laptopgate in the BOLE press release. The relevant paragraph is after the jump. The quick and dirty version: about a third of the 47 exam takers who had essay answers that were not retrieved passed even assuming a 0 score on those essays; about another third failed even assuming a perfect score on the essays; and for the final third, they guessed based on performance on the rest of the exam.
From an ATL reader going through the law firm recruiting process right now:
I’ve enjoyed reading about various law firm recruitingsnafus on Above the Law over the last few months. I just never thought I would be lucky enough to encounter one of my own.
I recently came home to an unusually thick envelope from Arnold & Porter (DC). Inside there was a typical ethnicity request form (to be mailed back to them for recordkeeping), a return envelope, and finally, much to my surprise — a refrigerator warranty!
Yep, that’s right. While other firms are busy sending recruits bonsai trees, iPods, and designer cookies, Arnold & Porter sends its rejects their appliance warranties.
Our tipster sent along a scanned copy of the warranty registration form:
If you visit the New York State Board of Law Examiners website, using Internet Explorer (it doesn’t seem to work with Firefox), you’ll see this message scrolling across the status bar at the bottom of your screen (be sure to have the status bar activated under “View”):
July 2007 examination results will be available here for candidate private lookup on Thursday, November 15th at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, the general passing list will be posted on Friday, November 16 at 9:00 a.m…..
Thanks to the many tipsters who wrote us about this. Especially this person:
On another note, what kind of crappy web designer does BOLE have?! Probably the same ones who programmed the SecurExam software that screwed up all the laptop exams this year…
1. If you send one of your students to another law school, for a year-long stint as a visiting student, don’t “apologize” for it — even if that student has a severe peanut allergy, requiring the receiving school to “peanut-proof” itself for the year.
2. If you really must issue an “apology,” do so by phone or in person, not by email.
3. If you really must issue an “apology” by email, send it to the individual dean. Do not send it to a listserv consisting of the deans of ABA-accredited law schools.
Because it might get leaked to ATL:
ATL readers: Please take this opportunity to engage in a spirited debate over whether schools, airlines, and other institutions go too far — or not far enough — in accommodating people with extreme food allergies. Thank you.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
It’s that time of year again when JDs are starting to apply for 2L summer jobs and 2L summers are deciding which practice area to focus on.
For those JDs with an interest in potentially lateraling to or transferring to Asia in the future, please feel free to reach out to Kinney for advice on firm choices, interviewing and practice choices, relating to future marketability in Asia, or for a general discussion on your particular Asia markets of interest. This is of course a free of cost service for those who some years in the future may be our future industry contacts or perhaps even clients.
For some years now Kinney’s Asia head, Evan Jowers, has been formally advising Harvard Law students with such questions, as the Asia expert in Harvard Law’s “Ask The Experts Market Program” each summer and fall, with podcasts and scheduled phone calls. This has been an enjoyable and productive experience for all involved.
If you are considering a virtual law practice, you know that many of today’s solo firms started that way. But why are established, multi-attorney law firms going virtual?
Many small firms are successfully moving part—or even all—of their practice to a virtual setting. This even includes multi-jurisdictional practice spanning several states and practice areas, although solo and small partnerships are still the largest adopters of virtual law.
Can you do the same? The new article Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design from author Jared Correia, Esq., explores how mobile technology bring real-life benefits to a small law firm. Read this new article—the next in Thomson Reuters’ Independent Thinking series for small firms—to explore how a mobile practice:
Reduces malpractice risk
Enables you to gather the best attorneys to fit the firm, regardless of each person’s geographic location
Leverages mobile devices and cloud technology to enable on-the-spot client and prospect communication
Transitioning in-house is something many (if not most) firm lawyers find themselves considering at some point. For many, it’s the first step in their career that isn’t simply a function of picking the best option available based on a ranking system.
Unknown territory feels high-risk, and can have the effect of steering many of us towards the well-greased channels into large, established companies.
For those who may be open to something more entrepreneurial, there is far less information available. No recruiter is calling every week with offers and details.
In sponsorship with Betterment, ATL and David Lat will moderate a panel about life in-house and we’ll hear from GCs at Birchbox, Gawker Media, Squarespace, Bonobos, and Betterment. Drinks, snacks, networking, and a great time guaranteed. Invite your colleagues, but RSVP fast, as space is limited.